Apple Uses DMCA Takedown Notice To Remove Leaked iOS Source Code

Doug Carpenter
February 10, 2018

One expert has described the leak as "the biggest in history" as it could help hackers develop attacks against iPhones. The source of the leak is unknown, but you can imagine Apple will be cleaning house to find the culprit.

"If there's nothing wrong with the code, it doesn't matter that it's out there", he said.

Apple directed Github to remove the code since all codes are kept private to ensure consumer's privacy.

It said it always encouraged customers to keep up to date with operating system upgrades. Also, the reason this code is so vital as it is responsible for starting up an iOS device, or in other words, loads iOS in the first place each time the device is turned on.

The confidential source code to Apple's iBoot firmware on iOS devices was leaked on GitHub. However, as a precautionary measure, the company has removed the code from GitHub via a DMCA takedown notice.

According to Gizmodo, that same bit of code has been circulating the web since late previous year, when a user uploaded it on Reddit. The former employee apparently took "all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot", according to one of the individuals who had originally received the code, including additional source code that was apparently not included in the initial leak.

Andy Kays, chief technology officer at British cybersecurity firm Redscan, told Sky News: "The release of the iBoot code demonstrates that vendors can't take it for granted that source code will always remain hidden".

The code was for the outdated iOS 9, released in September 2015, but it is expected that parts of the code may still be in use underpinning the iPhone's security in later releases.

The original Apple employee did not respond to our request for comment and said through his friend that he did not now want to talk about it because he signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple.

iOS bootloader The leak could be of value to "jailbreakers" who install third-party software on iPhones and iPads. Last year, a Reddit user named Apple_Internals posted the code, but at the time, it failed to gain the same amount of attention. "And now it's wide open in source code form".

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